Spoonie Musings || Getting to Know Myself

Saturday, March 23, 2019
Hello friends,

I wanted to come on here and just write out something that has been kind of hovering around in my mind lately. I'm not really sure what to call it at this point, because it's kind of a collection of things that come together to make sense for me but perhaps not to others. And I'm still easing my way into it, too.

I want to talk about allowing ourselves to be who we are. I spend a lot of time confused about who that person actually is, and my running theory as to why that is so fuzzy for me is that chronic illness has kind of muddied the waters in terms of clear-seeing and clarity of self. I think that the person I used to be before I got sick - the incredibly active kid who was a little bossy, and wanted to do almost everything with her friends - somehow still exists in part, and she can be incredibly argumentative with who I am now, and who my body (or my illness) require me to be.

I'm not sure that makes much sense, but please bear with me.

Sometimes I will be invited to an event, to do something, to catch up with others. And sometimes my reaction to that is 'yes, absolutely! I can't wait! I hope my body is okay with this on the day :)', and then sometimes my reaction is 'well that sounds absolutely wonderful, but I am feeling less than enthused at the moment, huh that's weird, anyway sure!'. (For simplicity's sake I am leaving out the times when it is just a straight-up 'no', as that isn't what we're discussing today. But those do happen.) 

The first reaction is perfectly sensible to me - there's very little complexity about it. I want to go, I hope my physical and mental health will be okay for it, I put it in my calendar and look forward to it. Sure, makes sense. No worries.

The latter reaction, however, is where things get a bit complex. The people-pleasing, active, 'should' part of myself just pops up and indicates to me that I 'have' to go, that I wanted it before otherwise I wouldn't have said yes, that maybe I am just letting my anxiety make the decision for me (has happened before, which muddies things even further), that I 'used' to do this stuff all the time so I can manage at least this once. This leads me to start feeling even more anxious about the upcoming event, which slowly builds as the day gets closer. I start having these conversations in my head, which seem to be between my old self (who is a bit warped these days, I will say) and my sick self (or a personification of my illnesses into one sentient being), and these 'conversations' quickly devolve into the former self spouting a lot of 'shoulds', and the latter self just digging in their heels and lying down on the floor like a petulant child who just wants a cookie. It's a toxic environment inside my head sometimes.

I have realised in the last few months that I have another self that is getting a little more assertive, and I have a feeling it's a new self that I am stepping into more and more. This self listens to her intuition a lot more and if she has a reaction to possible plans, she doesn't really listen to either old self or sick self that much, she just cancels or modifies the plans to what feels right. She's not interested in making herself smaller or doing things just to please others, and yet she's still incredibly loving and cares for those in her life fiercely, because - guess what! - she actually takes the time to look after herself so she has more to give.

I have spent pretty much the entirety of Summer feeling pretty rotten. I have had to admit to myself that I am sicker just in general - it may not be a phase, as I first thought, but actually just a slow but steady decline in my health. Almost all of my conditions are worse, and it was shocking for me to surface from brain fog about a week ago and realise just how far I had sunk. But, oddly, I am not feeling panicked about this realisation. I never really know what is going to happen next. I don't think anyone does. I may get better, I may get worse, I may hover around this level of illness for the rest of my life. I am just interested in enjoying my life as much as I can, and sometimes that actually means saying no to things that I would normally love doing. And that actually feels pretty freeing.

Love to all who read.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. You've done so much work. I'm so proud of you.
    Shane, my former colleague, did a course about Selves. She had names and voices for all of hers, and different ones stepped into the driver's seat depending on what they needed. It was beautiful to see her so at ease with her many conflicting parts.
    Sounds like you're working along similar lines. Would you be interested in some resources Lyn sent me about dialoguing between different parts of self?


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